partridges and a pear tree

December 24th, 2010 | Uncategorized

116 Responses to “partridges and a pear tree”

  1. Ellen O. says:


    Is there a way to transfer the amazing shrinking partridge without taking the white background?

    I love the snow flakes too.

  2. yeah, I could’ve taken the lines without the background…but you would not believe how many times I had to re-do the drawing and the movie before I got everything worked out—I just couldn’t face one more take.

    I also wish I could have worked the timing out better. So when the Partridges sing “here to stay is a new bird,” the partridge would start to appear. And when they sing “when it snows,” it starts snowing.

    oh well.

  3. A wonderful gift. Thank you so much.

  4. khatgrrl says:

    Thanks, that was great! Love that it was the Partridge Family singing! Too funny.

  5. lizzie from london says:

    Totally charming! merry whatever you celebrate.

  6. shadocat says:

    That was so cool! A merry happy everything to you and yours!

  7. Dr. Empirical says:

    Merry Christmas, all!

    I’ve been beyond the reach of TV, newspapers or internet for the past week, and completely missed the DADT victory. He may not be perfect, but Obama is managing to get some things done!

  8. Calico says:

    Nice animation! Happy Holidays. : )

  9. Calico says:

    Lightorama Xmas house – music is Guaraldi:

    (They do an awesome light choreograph to a Slayer song too, but I didn’t know if most of you would find that music enjoyable-but it is amazing to watch.)

  10. Kate L says:

    A.B.’s Xmas card to the gang! 🙂

    I got my Christmas gift today… a letter telling me that my second annual mammogram is normal! I guess that makes my getting kneaded like bread dough at the radiologist worthwhile! I still think that those position-marking band-aids they put on your nipples look like pasties…

  11. khatgrrl says:

    Congrats on the good news, Kate L. I just had my yearly squishing two days ago.

  12. Ellen O. says:

    Wow, you really are hard on yourself! But I guess it is those high standards that got you where you where you are.

    Also, I realized that if you did create a transparent background when you moved the partridge, it would have been skewered on a branch. Better your way.

    Merry, merry to you and Holly…

  13. Dr. Empirical says:

    I value my connection to all of you amazing people more than I can say.

    Watever you celebrate, I wish you all the joy it can bring.

  14. Fi, in Melbourne Australia says:

    My mum died in June this year. In the company of my brother Peter, partner Anne and me, which was incredibly good fortune (Anne and I live interstate) and a privilege to be with her during her last 26 hours. But I’m being self-indulgent; the main point here being that she – Lesley (Lee to my dad and her oldest friends) – always had a thing for a partridge in a pear tree. I don’t know why… Guess sometimes one never discovers the provenance of these notions. Doesn’t matter though; I will always enjoy it, and carry it on (I spent $40 on a box of biscuits this Christmas, just to get the tin box with its ‘toons of the partridge, the two turtle doves, the three French hens, etc), and I don’t need to examine why….
    BTW, I do love this forum, Alison – I really do feel I’m among my people (OK, for “people”, I mean Lesbians Of A Certain Kind – yeah well, so I’m busted!)

  15. E.T. says:

    Thank you for sharing that creation with us. Watching it is strangely soothing and peaceful. Nice work. My favorite parts were the branch being drawn under the bird, the sky tone changing, and the snowflakes appearing one-by-one. I’m wondering if you knew what you were going to attempt to draw beforehand, or ideas came to you as you applied each line. It is remarkable what sensibilities the progressive imagery can evoke.
    Cheers and good tidings to one and all.

  16. Lurk-A-Lot says:

    Loved this, Alison. Thank you. Following your pen strokes as you draw and watching the drawing as it is being created is, well, magical.

    I was a fan of The Partridge family show, but didn’t recognize their voices in the video.

    My favourite Christmas song this year is Bright Eyes’ rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

    Can’t stop listening to Sarah Maclachlan’s Wintersong cd sampler (I started listening to this since August).

    Hope you all have a wonder filled, egg noggy, nutmeggy holiday, with bright copper kettles and red ribbons, too!

  17. Anonymous says:

    That was super snazzy, Alison, thank you!

  18. Ian says:

    Thanks so much Alison. I remember playing this on the recorder at school (I think) for a carol concert.

    I really value the people who post here so much.

    Best wishes for Christmas to all and every one of you.


    PS Kate L: Glad your exam was clear.

  19. ksbel6 says:

    Thanks Alison, that was amazing!

    Happy Holidays all!!

  20. Andrew B says:

    Alison, thanks for the animation.

    Merry Christmas Everybody! And if today is just December 25 to you, I hope we’ll hear back from you at Passover or Eid ul-Fitr or Beltane or whatever day means something to you.

  21. Renee S. says:

    Merry Christmas to all! Thanks for a wonderful Christmas greeting. Merry Christmas to you and Holly!AB did you draw that in Illustrator?

  22. monz says:

    This video was the perfect end to a wonderful Christmas weekend that I’ve had. Thank you Alison.

  23. hairball_of_hope says:

    Happy Merry Whatever, y’all.

    Now that your felines have had their way with the used wrapping paper and tinsel, some questions come to mind. Such as: Why do we bother with the actual gifts for the furry ones, when they seem to like the crinkly wrapping paper and empty boxes most of all?

    I hope you received some special gifts (or at least some gift cards so you can buy what you *really* want). Of course, you may find yourselves staring at a few strange gifts, with another age-old post-holiday question in mind: “What were they thinking?!?!”

    Hopefully, your *WTF* gifts are returnable, or at least not gawd-awful, so you can regift them to someone else who might appreciate them. If it makes you feel any better, you can compare your blooper gifts to the ones listed here, both in the blog and in the comments:

    I felt really bad for the kid who got the Easy-Bake oven instead of the T. Rex dinosaur she really wanted, because it was “much more appropriate for a little girl.” I hope the can of haggis was a gag gift, as opposed to a gift that gags (apparently the gift was for real). And the father who put a Ziplocked charcoal briquette in his 4-year-old daughter’s stocking should be hauled off to Child Protective Services.

    (… goes back to watching the snow fall on city streets …)

  24. hairball_of_hope says:

    Hmmm… the link I posted above is culled from the nearly 500 responses NY Times readers gave to the question of “What was your worst Christmas gift?”

    Plowing through some of these, I see that bad gift-giving isn’t merely cluelessness about the recipient, it is often barely-masked hostility.

    The money spent on inappropriate gifts would have been better spent on future therapy bills. Oy.

    (… goes back to being grateful for gift cards, both as giver and recipient …)

  25. Aunt Soozie says:

    Thanks Alison!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Holly and all of my friends here!!!
    Aunt Soozie

  26. Marj says:

    I just heard on the BBC news about the east coast weather warnings. Batten down the hatches and take care, all. I mean y’all.

  27. Anonymous says:

    @hoh: I had some real winners…like being forced to have my ears pierced when I was 9…because, well, that’s when my sister had her’s done. Oh god.

  28. Lurk-A-Lot says:

    @Fi, in Melbourne Australia #14

    While the people here are of “a certain kind,” we are not all lesbians, or even gay; I am not a lesbian.

    I like “People of a certain kind” as a grouping term as it reaches beyond the general boundaries, to encompass overlapping groups who seem to share traits more definitive of themselves as a group.

    Nerdish perhaps, scholarly or intellectuals perhaps, people who’re into comic books perhaps, social conscious progressives perhaps,Gay/Straight/Trans/Lesbians perhaps but none of those fits all of us.

    We seem to be people who’re drawn to similar things. What those things are, I won’t attempt to define, but you know,” we’re people of a certain kind.”

  29. Ian says:

    We are all, as the book title says, “carbon-based lifeforms to watch out for”. IMHO that is.

  30. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Marj (#26)

    Pretty intense snow for Manhattan, even for a Nor’easter. At the moment (21:15 EST, 02:15 UTC), we have nearly white-out conditions, I can see the building directly across the street, but not a few doors down. We’ve had lightning and thunder with the snow. The wind gusts are quite strong (25mph/40kmh). The barometric pressure has dropped so low and quickly that I have had a massive sinus headache most of the day (1012.9mb @12:51 UTC, now it’s 919mb at 01:51 UTC).

    (… goes back to figuring out what she’s going to wear to work tomorrow …)

  31. hairball_of_hope says:

    Typo… barometric pressure at 01:51 UTC is 991.9mb.

    I don’t think 919mb is possible at sea level on Earth. Duh.

  32. Antoinette says:

    HoH, my felines were happy with wrapping paper, bows, and ‘nip. The latter enhanced their enjoyment of the former.

    Thanks for the animation. Amazing!

    And I always look forward to and enjoy reading all you good people’s contributions.

  33. Kate L says:

    (hairball #30) Thundersnow! Thundersnow!

  34. judybusy says:

    That was so charming–I love how plump the partridge is! Thank you for that present.

  35. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Me and the cat loved the shrinking partridge! But he slept through all the present opening, and we cleaned up pronto, so Christmas was a wash for him. WE saw a movie that did not pass the Bechdel test and had Peking duck. Why not Beijing duck, or is that something with entirely different feathers?

    Love to all my carbon based friends on this blog, and love to Alison and Hollie!

  36. mustardandwine says:

    thanks for posting this link, stirs up some amusing memories.

    My favourite bad present was ‘the drama of the gifted child’ from a woman who’d just started going out with my father. I was seventeen. There are ways and ways of expressing an opinion…

  37. hairball_of_hope says:

    Off-topic (naturally), but definitely an interesting interpretation of the holiday spirit…

    From “The Lord Helps Those Who Help Themselves” Dept., comes word of a Dallas pastor who burglarized a parishioner’s home on Christmas Eve.

    Quoting from the article:

    Sandy McGriff, 52, said today that she had seen two men on the side of the Serita Agnew’s east Oak Cliff house on Friday. When she went to check it out, she saw a broken kitchen window.

    McGriff said she made a foolish mistake and went in through the window to make sure Agnew’s belongings were secure.

    “I used poor judgment,” McGriff said from her Grand Prairie house.

    One of Agnew’s neighbors called police, and when officers arrived, they found McGriff carrying out two fur coats. Agnew’s laptop computer and several purses were in McGriff’s Jaguar, parked in the driveway.

    McGriff said she was trying to protect valuables in case the men came back.

    “I thought I was helping,” she said.

    Well, she got THAT right. She certainly WAS helping… herself.

    I do wonder how she was going to explain where the fur coats came from, both to her husband (also a pastor), and to the parishioner, who someday might have seen her wearing at least one of the coats.

    But here’s what I really don’t understand… having spent chunks of time in Dallas in all four seasons, I can’t think of any time the weather was cold enough to ever justify a fur coat. It barely gets cold enough in winter to justify a down jacket. When would anyone ever wear a fur coat in Dallas? Half an inch of snow on the Mixmaster (a downtown Dallas highway interchange) is enough to paralyze traffic for days.

    I guess some folks just like wearing dead rodents as outerwear. Or underwear. Oh nevermind…

    (… goes back to pondering life’s mysteries …)

  38. hairball_of_hope says:

    @mustardandwine (#36)

    I’ve been nibbling on the feast of bad gift stories, all 400 some-odd of them, in the past few days. There are about half a dozen tales of toilet seats given or received as presents. I can’t imagine considering a toilet seat as a gift for any occasion, but what do I know?

    Bad gifts I’ve endured… in no particular order:

    1. Yet another pair of earrings. Just got another pair last week from someone at work. (Hello? Look at me. Not only don’t I wear jewelry beyond necklaces and watch, perhaps an occasional bracelet, I don’t have pierced ears.)

    2. A book on hypochondria jokes (this was after a year of dealing with asthma and Reactive Airway Disease after a bad bronchial infection).

    3. A cheap magnetic picture frame intended to attach to the refrigerator (the magnet was too weak to hold it to the door, it slid to the floor each time I shut the fridge).

    4. A cat toy (Tweety Bird or Garfield, I forget which) that promptly disintegrated into piles of yellow thread everywhere (they stubbornly resisted the vacuum cleaner, I had to pick them up by hand from the carpet one-by-one). The bonus was the cat puking yellow-threaded hairballs for a few days.

    5. Many, many ugly sweaters made of synthetics, in colors and patterns better suited to dog sweaters. (Hello? Look at me. Yes, I love sweaters, but I only wear good ones made of nice wool, merino, lambswool, cashmere, etc., in classic styles and basic colors. How about buying something that *I* might like, instead of what *you* like?)

    6. Tzchotchkes from the 99 cent store, ensconced in fancy gift boxes, also from the 99 cent store. (Hey, I shop in those stores too, and I know where these things came from. And I don’t need more tzchotchkes in my apartment.)

    7. Weird gimicky tools, particularly the ones that are supposed to hang on a keychain. (Hello? Look at the various tools I cart around daily… if it’s a useful tool, I probably already have at least one in every size and configuration. And anyone who’s seen one of my keychains as I attempt to get through a metal detector should realize I don’t need anything else hanging off of them.)

    8. Silver-plated drink coasters. (Yup, let’s protect the furniture with items I have to polish after every use.)

    9. Many years of Reader’s Digest subscriptions. (Yes, I like to read. How thoughtful of you. It’s true I will read anything while in the bathroom. How about Consumer Reports next year? Nope, another year of RD.)

    10. Random coffee-table books. (Yes, I like to read, but do I really need another “A Day In The Life of ” picture tome? Three little words can save us both a lot of trouble… bookstore gift card.)

    11. Massage gift certificate. Redeemable at your cousin Fred the masseur. (Also a work gift, I never used it, I have my own massage preferences, thank you very much, and I’m not going to some strange guy for a massage, especially if he’s your cousin Fred. Creepy.)

    (… goes back to thinking about one of the best gifts she’s ever received, a trip to Hawaii …)

  39. Kate L says:

    (hairball #38) “You’ll be flyin’ over my home/ in about two hours time…” – a line from an old Peter, Paul and Mary album my sister had back in the 60’s.

    More canine-related behaviour. Sandy (my 54-pound-harrier hound) wanted out tonight, and spent a few minutes pacing out distances in her fenced-in area. She dug up a nylabone she had buried a few days ago, and was happily holding it between her paws and eating it like a popsicle when I came back outside. Sandy has come to accept the presence of my new neighbor’s two dogs* next door, although she still barks her head off when the neighbors themselves walk into their backyard.

    * – a dingo-like Ozzie dog that yips, and a beagle pup that I call Princess. I was just visiting with the dingo, and he jumped up and kissed me on the lips! Sandy doesn’t even do that!

  40. mustardandwine says:

    @hoh #38

    we have a strict system in my family now. The festive season includes no more than five of us, me, sister, partners and single mother. We each think of four things chosen based on what other people can afford and list them. That’s one gift per giver per person and if it doesn’t stem the unfortunate present flow entirely it at least ensures we each get four presents we actually want.

    It may seem a little childish to make a santa’s list when we’re all comfortably into adulthood but it saves so much pain.

  41. Antoinette says:

    Can I counteract the bad gift juju with some good stuff I got this year?

    Rain-X wiper blades & anti-icing fluid for the windshield. A new wallet. A nice cashmere scarf in a color that matches my other cold weather apparel. A humidifier and a new kitchen wastebasket.

    In my family, gifts tend to be practical rather than extravagant. It is always about what the giver can afford.

  42. ksbel6 says:

    That was me in #27, sent it from KC and forgot to put in a name…

    Great gifts this year…glow in the dark Batman belt buckle (which I may have already mentioned), Batman boxer/briefs, a great bracelet, and two nice work shirts.

  43. bean says:

    my girlfriend’s five year old son got a Wii Babysitting Mama video game and babydoll (he’d asked for it by name!), which he appeared to love equally as much as the many starwars war toys he received. i think he will turn out to be an omnisexual polyamorous genderqueer, but we’ll be just as happy and proud if he turns out just gay.

    i refuse to give or receive any gifts during the entire month of december, because i actually do know what holiday it is. you can’t fool me by wishing me a happy holiday…

    and, along those lines, does anyone anywhere actually appreciate in the supermarket, on the radio, on the tv, in the drugstore, in restaurants, over telephone holds, or at the post office, hearing THAT music??? does it really make you spend more money? strangely enough, it has the opposite effect on me…

  44. Kate L says:

    (ksbel6 #42) Holy I-70, ksbel6 is Batman!!! 🙂

    I got a telephone call at home just after 8 am this morning. It was my physician’s nurse, and she just called to personally confirm that my recent “mammo” (mammogram) was normal.

  45. judybusy says:

    Christmas has become easier for my family. I mutineed a few years ago when we all exchanged gift certificates through the mail–seriously! Now, we pool our money and donate to a charity. We take turns picking the charity. Now, if we could just get my three nieces to stop their incessant bickering during the festivities…My partner’s famiy picks name and like #40, we share a list of “wants” which makes shopping pretty easy.

    Next year, my sweetie and I are seriously considering heading to Puerto Rico for the week of Christmas. It was busy and therefore stressful this year, and we want a break! Has anyone else ditched a major holiday and done it your way? I know my family will be disappointed but it’s sounding really good right now!

  46. Andrew B says:

    Hoh, 37, hilarious. Tartuffe lives — in Texas. But after all, doesn’t God help those who help themselves?

    Bean, 43, maybe your gf’s kid will be a straight man who actually does his share of the child care. The world could use a few more of those, too. And as I said earlier, hoping to hear back from you on Passover or Labor Day (the real Labor Day, not the American back-to-school special).

  47. Ginjoint says:

    I think I had that Partridge Family Christmas record when I was little – I remember drawing all over it. Anyway, thank you Alison for the sweet animation gift. (Sorry this is a few days late – I’ve been up at my mother’s, getting “incipient black lung disease” from polishing newel posts.)

    Hairball, I hope you’re doing O.K. over there in the Arctic Tundra. Blizzards with thunder and lightning are the BEST – we’re way overdue for a big one. Have you been able to get around at all?

    Glad to hear the good news, Kate!

    i think he will turn out to be an omnisexual polyamorous genderqueer, but we’ll be just as happy and proud if he turns out just gay. Sublime. 😉 But, bean, I actually do like “THAT” music – well, when it’s done skillfully. Annie Lennox came out with a Christmas CD this year that is really good, but then, I’m partial to her. I’m not too much of a cynic when it comes to Christmas…this time of year has many layers of meaning for me, and I do cherish it. (Thankfully, the “buying things” aspect doesn’t play a big role.)

  48. Darwin, Australia says:

    @HOH #38 This year my partner and I got matching car air freshner. Hmm…

    I was thinking I liked being a person or lesbian of a certain kind (ref 14 and 28,29) but now I’m not so sure….

  49. Dr. Empirical says:

    Leave it to Hairball to spell “tzchotchkes” correctly. I always leave out the “z”.

    My brother gave me a Green Lantern costume this year, the kind with the foam rubber pecs and abs built in. But what about all the female Green Lanterns? I doubt they make a costume with foam rubber protuberances for them!

    Also, the costume didn’t come with a Green Lantern Power Ring. Fortunately, I have a drawer full…

  50. ksbel6 says:

    #49: Really? No ring? What’s the point without the ring…that’s like Batman with no utility belt…just silly really.

  51. Speaking of PERFECT gifts, I am as I write this savoring the exquisite flavor of a Mo’s Bacon Bar, courtesy of Therry (and St. Jerome, I presume): Applewood smoked bacon, alderwood smoked salt, deep dark chocolate, 62% cacao. As good as you could ever imagine.

  52. NLC says:

    Not much information (for example, publication date, etc), but this just turned up on Amazon: The Best American Comics 2011

  53. NLC says:

    P.S. The important part: “…edited by AB.

  54. Lurk-A-Lot says:


    I wa’an it! I wa’an it!


    That’s why I’ma geddit!

  55. Pam I. says:

    @ NLC #52 – October 4th 2011. Just in time for my birthday, and Sigorney Weaver’s.

  56. Marj says:

    AB – thanks for the festive animation. Shoulda said that before.

    Kate L – glad it’s “normal”.

    On the present front, this year Ma and I pooled our resources and got ourselves one of these: Marj & Ma’s xmas present. The cat was optional, so we opted not; we didn’t think Queenie the greyhoud would appreciate it.

    I’m upstairs lurking in my den, while it potters around downstairs hoovering up.

    Happy New Year!

  57. Renee S. says:

    Everybody have a Rockin’ Great New Year!

  58. ksbel6 says:

    Happy New Year everybody!

  59. little gator says:

    hairball-do you have a Gator Grip wrench? THey sound gimmicky but they are everything the ad says.

  60. Kate L says:

    As the year 2011 begins its sweep across the planet, Happy New Year from here on the High Plains of North America*!

    * Imagine Kate in the Little House on the Prairie, which actually is not far from here…

  61. (Posted this at FB yesterday)

    I have pulled up the “To Do” list I made a year ago, not long out of the hospital and still in desperate trouble. It’s six pages long, full of items both mundane and seemingly impossible, like “Get disability” or “End isolation”. One of them entertained me when I reread it — “Check out Facebook, Liza said it was okay”.

    This list w…as so overwhelming and full of miracles, I put it away and instead started a by-the-week and by-the-day list, only going back to the Impossible List once I checked off major items on the smaller lists.

    Now, a year later, there are only six items undone on the Impossible List, and three of those no longer apply. The remaining three are all do-able. Time for a new list, but no miracles needed on this one.

    I would say “I owe it all to you” but that’s only part of it. I, too, never stopped working. It took all of us, a team, to save me this year. Given my childhood, it probably wasn’t the worst year of my life, but it sure felt that way starting out.

    And now I can face 2011 with real hope, solid rest, peace of heart, and loving connections.

    Bless you. Bless us all.

  62. ksbel6 says:

    Wow Maggie, way to go!

  63. khatgrrl says:

    Congrats Maggie!

  64. Ian says:

    Happy New Year everyone. A bit belated, but it’s still 1/1/11 here.

  65. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Maggie (#61)

    You go girl!

    Andi posted a quote from St. Francis on her blog for Thanksgiving, it seems quite apt here :

    “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi

  66. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Happy New Year to everybody on this blog, surrounded by partridges and bacon and wonderful trips to Puerto Rico!

  67. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Little Gator (#59)

    No doubt you are enamored of the Gator Grip because of the name. ;).

    I looked at the Gator Grip, and it seemed a bit big and bulky for the stuff I work on these days, but I probably will get one at some point and toss it in the toolbox where the Easy-Outs live. It does look reasonably well-made, especially for one of those “As Seen On TV” products.

    N.B. Gator Grip is an oversized deep 3/8″ drive socket used with a socket wrench. The socket is filled with spring-loaded pins that grasp rounded-off nuts and bolt heads. Of course, those nuts and bolts likely got rounded off in the first place by use of one of those infamous bolt head manglers, either a pair of slip-joint pliers or an adjustable open-end wrench (aka a knucklebuster, nicknamed thusly for good reason).

    N.B.2. Easy-Out is a brand name of screw extractors, used to remove bolts and screws that have broken off or have mangled heads.

    All this reminds me of an incident from my industrial days… I was working with a couple of guys to remove an old conveyor system to make way for some new equipment. The bolts on this thing had been in place for decades. Of course, they had rusted and galvanically corroded in place and wouldn’t budge.

    My usual tactic for large frozen bolts was to first whack them with a 2 lb ball peen hammer, liberally spritz with penetrating oil or WD-40, whack them again, let them soak for 10-15 minutes, then use an air impact wrench to get them loose. I did the oil-and-whack routine, then took a coffee break. I swung by the supply room on the way back from coffee to pick up an air wrench and impact sockets. By the time I got back to the jobsite, there was a crowd of people, a thick haze in the air, and the definite smell of something burning.

    One of the numbskulls I worked with had his own favorite frozen bolt tactic, heating them with a propane torch. As you can imagine, the combination of penetrating oil and propane torch was a combustible one, and then the paint on the sides of the conveyor structural steel started to burn.

    Worse still, he violated the safety policy of working in pairs when using a torch or welding. The second person is supposed to be the fire watch, standing ready with a hose or pressurized water extinguisher to put out the inevitable small smoldering bits.

    He tried to blame me for the incident, saying it was my fault because I used oil on the bolts, he had been using the torch for years without incident. Also without fire watch for years (there’s a log kept for fire watch activities, it’s an insurance requirement thing). Nevermind that he could see/smell the oil dripping from the bolts in the first place. He got yanked into doing some really menial work for a while, he had to haul all the steel into a dumpster with a forklift while we disassembled the conveyor.

  68. Lurk-A-Lot says:

    @ Maggie #61

    Having read in an earlier post what all you’ve been through this past year and now, how you set about accomplishing the “impossible” in your life, I feel encouraged to attempt to achieve the seemingly “impossible” in my life.

    “Peace of heart” and “real hope,” gosh, couldn’t want anything better.

    Blessings and Happy New Year to you and everyone!

  69. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ginjoint (#47)

    As you’ve probably seen on CNN, the snow wasn’t the problem, it was the totally inept removal efforts by the Sanitation Dept.

    Manhattan is normally the best-plowed borough, but it’s a freakin’ disaster. The outer boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx) are even worse than usual following a snowstorm.

    The snowplows (actually garbage trucks fitted with plows) normally plow the avenues (North/South streets) and the major cross-streets (East/West streets) every few hours during a storm so the snow doesn’t build up.

    I live between two major avenues, and there wasn’t a single plow on them until around 6:30AM on Monday morning, 30 hrs after the snow started falling. Until yesterday, there was no one digging out the pedestrian crosswalks (usually they hire day laborers, such as homeless shelter residents, to dig them out). My block didn’t get plowed until Wednesday, and I’m in midtown. Some streets didn’t see a plow until Thursday.

    It all seemed so odd, we’ve had worse storms and the aftermath was never this bad. I assumed it was because the city was trying to save money and had not authorized overtime. Then the news came out that there possibly was a Sanitation slowdown because of some impending job cuts and demotions that took effect today.

    Of course, the team behind our benevolent despot mayor Bloomberg is likely behind the slowdown story, because this storm is tarnishing Bloomberg’s rep as a good manager. But it seems to have lots of circumstantial evidence behind it, and it comports with my own and others’ accounts of there being no plows anywhere during the storm.

    It was in the 40s yesterday, but there are still huge piles of snow everywhere blocking sidewalks and streets. Add to that a week’s worth of garbage, recycling, and used Xmas trees piled on top of the snow, plus deep slush puddles everywhere. The storm basins are blocked with snow, so the snowmelt has no place to go. Icch.

    I wish it would rain.

    It was nasty getting to/from work, but fortunately with transportation screwed up and folks snowbound, I had to cancel some jobsite visits. Glad I didn’t have to drive around in this mess. Walking in it is bad enough.

    (… goes back to the palindromic wonder of 1/1/11 …)

  70. HoH, I love the St. Francis quote, and it’s more or less descriptive. My personal version is the Quaker suggestion of “Proceed as the way opens.” But to do that requires support, infusions of love and faith on a regular basis, all of which I reliably find at this blog.

    Re all the weather problems that came close to shutting down air travel all over the country because of key airports being out of the grid — this is what taxes pay for. Welcome to the Republican version of austerity. If you are rich enough (i.e., Wall Street or in Congress), you can private pay for essential services, living behind gates or high above the mess or floating on tsunami-proof megaliners.

    Or as one blogger pointed out, this is the consequence of running government like it’s a business. It’s not about turning a profit, government exists to meet the needs that individuals, business and other institutions cannot. Like clear streets after a snowstorm.

  71. ksbel6 says:

    Re: plows, etc.
    I can tell you that without a doubt the financial mess of the state and local governments in MO have basically turned snow storms into “city stand still” time. They just do not have enough folks on the crews and do not have the funding to pay them the overtime to have them driving through the entire storm. In Lee’s Summit (a rich suburb of KC) they now remind the citizens routinely that side streets will not be plowed until all major streets are completely clear and the snow has stopped falling for at least 24 hours. Which means that those folks could all drive around just fine if they could just make it out of their neighborhoods.

  72. Kate L says:

    Way to go, Maggie! 🙂

    hairball, ginjoint, ksbel6: What I was reminded of during the recent NYC blizzard was the fact that New York City also has no plans to even attempt an evacuation in the event of a major hurricane. Someday, statistical luck will run out as it did for New Orleans in 2005.

    In an unrelated matter, I saw the feature on the year-end Rachel Maddow Show where some guy in a baseball cap was accusing Rachel of being a lesbian vampire (“right out there on television, where children and everyone can see her!)”. Speaking as a thousand-year-old lesbian vampire myself, I’d just like to say that those prejudiced day-walkers should get a life! Just because a being is old and accursed doesn’t make them evil. Well, not neccesarily. And, now you know why I always seem to post in the wee hours of the moring!

    Therry and St. Jerome (#66) Did you say BACON?!!!

  73. Alex K says:

    Vajazzling. Yeah.

    Flamingo-pink crystals on the floors of women’s toilets throughout the hopelessly hip hemisphere. A crunch crunch as we high-heel in and out.

    What have we become?

    On the bright side, I’m not (yet) vajazzled. And our Christmas gift to each other was an adopted cat, goofy, gawky, ginger, gorgeous. He’s supposedly a “red Burmese” but the only genes from that line that I think have come through are the squawky raucous ones. And the cement-mixer purr.

  74. Ian says:

    Ahhhh Alex K. “Vajazzling”. The depilation and ornamentation with fake jewels of one’s vagina. For a night out. Who’s going to see it, may I ask? You go to some seriously classy clubs Alex K! Unless this was a lesbian club. Lesbian vajazzling? Please say it ain’t so! Although I fully support any womon’s right to glue sequins to her hoo-ha if she wants.

    Your kitteh sounds amazing though. Especially the cement-mixer purr.

  75. Kate L says:

    And, here I thought that I had originated the euphemism “hoo-ha”, but I guess not! I’m sure that I’d remember if I had ever said it here. And, one thing I really object to is the use of those skimpy little low-cut draw-string halter tops before and after mammography! Why do I have to display my cleavage (such as it is) walking in the hallway from the dressing room to the x-ray room and back??? Sisters, let me hear a “oh, yeah!”

  76. Kate L says:

    Oh, and here’s a clip from the last 2010 Rachel Maddow Show about the guy who was claiming that she is a lesbian vampire. Ha! How can she be a vampire when young Dr. Maddow is barely 749 years old! Well, 750 years old, now… anyway, my point (and, I do have one) is that the really scary thing about this clip is that the country boy in the baseball cap is quite serious about the lunacy he is speaking. People like him are the ones who show up at Smallville city commission meetings to rant about the “gay agenda”. How can there be a gay agenda when I’ve never been sent a copy???

  77. hairball_of_hope says:

    Update to #69…

    Odd postscript to the mountains of snow and garbage that line the NYC streets… a guy tried to commit suicide by jumping from a ninth story window, but survived because he landed on a pile of trash.


  78. freyakat says:

    Hey Hairball,

    Odd story indeed, and trust it to the NY Post to sniff it out (pun not really intended, but it kind of works)!

    Yesterday evening I saw a HUGE snowplow meandering
    around Broadway on the Upper West Side. Methinks
    it would have had more use several days ago…

  79. Kate L says:

    (hairball #77) Let’s hope the man gets help, and that the snowfall will then have benefited at least one person. For some reason, the story has caused me to have a Smothers Brothers* 60’s flashback:
    Tommy Smothers:
    I fell into a vat of chocolate, I fell into a vat of chocolate.
    Dick Smothers:
    What did you do when you fell into the chocolate? What did you do when you fell into the chocolate?
    Tommy Smothers:
    I yelled, “Fire!” when I fell into the chocolate,
    I yelled “Fire!” when I fell into the chocolate.
    Dick Smothers
    Why did you yell, “Fire!” when you fell into the chocolate? Why did you yell “Fire!” when you fell into the chocolate?
    Tommy Smothers Because no one would come to my assistance or rescue me or save me if I yelled, “Chocolate!”

    … You had to be there, I guess. It was a younger, simpler, groovier time, man.

  80. Kate L says:

    * – The Smothers Brothers: a hip, happening singing duo of the 1960’s. Their top-rated variety program on CBS was eventually cancelled due to the left-wing political views of the brothers. CBS replaced the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour with a new, somewhat less controversial program called Hee-Haw!.

  81. By age eight, I’d become a Sherlockian and was also determined to follow in the footsteps of Trixie Belden, become a detective as soon as possible. Then when I was 10. Honey West came on TV. She was her own boss, had glorious gadgets and a pet ocelot, and I fell head over heels. Anne Francis, you gave this child dyke much to aim for. RIP.

  82. Ian says:

    @HOH(77): And they say that cutting public services is always a bad thing … [/sarcasm]

  83. Ginjoint says:

    HOH, good to hear you’re muddling through. But…garbage trucks doubling as plows? They don’t seem fast or maneuverable enough. And watch out, Bloomberg – Chicago got its first (and so far only, sigh) female mayor due in large part to a snowstorm. We’re about to lose our longtime Mayor Daley due in part to parking meter rates – so the small things CAN bring down the despots.

    Way to go, Meggars! Tough ol’ dyke.

    Kate, what halter tops? My hospital just uses the robe/”johnnie” things. Huh. Plus, you go into an area marked “women only” or some such. (I think for men who happen to need a mammo, they schedule them at a different ti”me or something.) Anyway, no halter tops here, sorry.

  84. Ginjoint says:

    O.K., I admit it – I lol’ed about the would-be suicide landing in the trash instead. I know, I know…straight to hell…

  85. Kate L says:

    Ginjoint (#83) Oh, I’m sorry, too, Ginjoint! 😉 Seriously, there was no women’s space or special times for the genders at my mammography… the changing room only had a curtain to shield it from the public hallway that I had to walk down in my halter top to reach the X-ray room. I’m not sure if my late mother would have said that I had to “sashay” or “prance” down the hallway in my halter top, but she would have said one of the two, I’m sure! Isn’t it interesting that 23 years after her death, I still have a virtual Mom in my head to comment on my life?!

  86. Ginjoint says:

    Well, Kate, at least you weren’t out “carousing”, one of my mother’s personal faves.

    Hey, is anyone here from Florida? I’m in Jacksonville for the week, and I’m finding it kind of…surreal.

  87. More good news from Casa de Jochild: Attendant care has finally been authorized and begins tomorrow. This means a serious safety net against death, decline, and being forced into a nursing home. I will remain shit poor but with Meals On Wheels and food stamps, I am eating; thanks to donations plus inadequate disability, I meet rent and utilities; and now I will have the help I need to care for myself like normal people plus the prospect of regaining mobility with enough hard work on my part. Which I can assure you I will do.

    Of course, my privacy and creative time just took a serious hit. But being alive and independent is worth it, and this is good as it can get on my end of the economic scale.

    Only took two years of dealing with the powers that be and nearly dying. (grin)

  88. Kate L says:

    Maggie (#87) Good news! I imagine its like getting your head above water and finally breathing air again! 🙂

    Ginjoint (#86) Carousing! Are you channeling my mother’s spirit?! 🙂 She could have also said that I was carousing in that mammogram halter top like a floozie!!! On our walks, my 54-poind harrier hound has taken to looking mournfully through the glass door of a local coffee shop until they bring her a treat. The last time she did this, I actually called her a floozie! Mirror, mirror, on the wall… I’ve become my mother, after all!”

  89. Mama used to remark of women she felt had questionable morals (whom she would label “two-bit chippies”): She can trip a man and beat him to the ground.

  90. Ginjoint says:

    Dang, I love a good “Southernism”, Maggie. Or is there another word for those? Help a Yankee out, huh?

    Kate, you weren’t carousing, you were parading down the hall like a floozy. Or a hussy. Whichever’s cheaper. Maggie’ll probably know.

  91. Ginjoint says:

    Also, your dog? A treat whore. O.K., I better stop before someone yanks my feminist cred. These things are very touchy these days.

  92. Pam I. says:

    Some new eclipse pics for you. A smiley sun to greet the new year.

  93. Kate says:

    Ginjoint (#91) Cover your ears, Sandy!!!

    Jerry Brown is governor of California again. Groovy! I feel young again… quick, someone fire up the Apple Lisa!

  94. Ginjoint, your language has been recorded and you will be visited forthwith by a representative from C.O.Y.O.T.E. You have also been scheduled for a crit/self-crit session with the Central States LPA. Please do not wear scents when you attend this meeting, and forward to the Authority a list of all past woman-identified relationships with contact numbers. In sisterhood.

  95. little gator says:

    my mammography plce uses hige wrap around bathrobe-like things. They have long sleves, come down to midcalf and up to the neck

  96. Kate L says:

    (little gator #95) … and yet, my local radiologists had me parade down a public hallway in a low-cut halter-top. At age 56, I’d think that no one would care to see something like this, anymore.

  97. Pam I. says:

    PS to #92 and I have a new great-niece to match the new year, born this afternoon. Having spent the xmas break with her just a belly-thickness away from me, I feel quite attached to this one. Will zip down at the weekend to meet her. Expect photos.

  98. Kate L says:

    (Ginjoint #91) Also, your dog? A treat whore.

    I gave my dog a treat the other day, after which she sat there looking at me with her big, brown eyes wanting another one. And I… and I… I called my own dog a treat whore! Ginjoint, what is this powerful influence you have over me???

  99. Ginjoint says:

    Maggie, I’m so glad you exist.

    I was just reading yet another thread at Feministe that degenerated into yet another contest to see who’s The Most Sensitive Of All. (One poster chided another for using the word “lunacy,” stating that it was ableist.) I long ago gave up on that site. For a lot of reasons.

    Kate, don’t blame me for your foul mouth. If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too, young lady?

    Still in Florida, still kinda freaked out. I stopped in one of those “Books-A-Million” bookstores, simply because I’d never been, and saw THREE AISLES of books listed under “Christian Living.” Now that’s something I don’t see back home.

  100. ready2agitate says:

    A propos of nothing (actually a post way back of a cat riding a roomba), the January page of the New Yorker cat cartoon calendar is a cartoon of one cat passing by another and saying, Saaay, didn’t I see you on YouTube riding a Roomba? (by Shannon Wheeler) Har!

    (Of course my partner and I BOTH had to look it up to see WHAT a Roomba was — and now I see it mentioned EVERYWHERE, including here! …Get a pair of red shoes, suddenly everyone you see is wearing a pair of red shoes….)

    And now I’m reading “Chicken Soup for the Cat-Lovers Soul” (it was yet another gift) to calm my nerves about health issues (not too scary ones, thankfully). Not sure how far I’ll get without starting to feel a tad, er, un-wowed by the writing (but happy to see there’ll be a story in the book by Lesla Newman).

    Ginjoint, would that kinda book salve your shattered nerves in Florida Christian vacationlandia, or more likely make you wanna vomita?

  101. Ginjoint says:

    Hey, R2A, I was wondering where you’d been. I hope everything’s O.K., health-wise. Nah, I’m fine down here – I’m going to go for a walk later & play with some photography apps on my phone. Later, perhaps after afternoon tea, some vajazzling.

  102. Kate L says:

    Oh-oh… if Ginjoint is vajazzling, that means I just have to, too!!!

  103. Dr. Empirical says:

    Faberje’ Coozie?

  104. Kat says:

    Wow, I go away from the blog for a little bit (due to being out of town and now due to stress, not any kind willing absence), and I find that you’re talking about vajazzling??????

    Good grief.

    I’m still unconvinced that any actual humans do this….despite the fact that Jennifer Love Hewitt talked about it on ?Dave Letterman? (or some late night show) a couple of years ago.

    Although apparently it has a new cousin: temporary spray-on tattoos in various designs. The article I read was debating which clever moniker to use, and they were all pretty horrible.

  105. Ginjoint says:

    Kat, ‘taint (har!) no way it’s really going to happen in MY neck of the woods (har?). BUT IF IT DID, nothing but Baccarat will do, DR. E.

    Faberge. Jesus. Something a hussy would wear.

  106. Kat says:

    oh, but you have good taste, Ginjoint. Baccarat all the way.

    This line Click Here! is especially cool.

    If any crystal is going near my possible (which would be so hilariously incongruous it would be worth considering…..kidding!), it couldn’t be any old Swarovsky shit. Only Baccarat will do, just like you say.

  107. ready2agitate says:

    oh my, I am learning things! 😉

  108. ksbel6 says:

    I’m not making this up…a friend of mine at work pulled me into her office yesterday to ask me if I thought she should start vajazzling (only she did not know what it was called, so I felt all cool by being able to educate her). I told her flat out it would be a big turn off for me.

    Me: “I do not need something sparkling to get me interested, so why bother?”
    Her: “Because it would be like a little party in my pants.”
    Me: “Wow.”

  109. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kat (#104)

    Some actual humans *have* undergone vajazzling in the name of journalism. I posted on one such report here on DTWOF last April:

    Of course, the reporter works for Fox, so you can take the reporting with the usual dump truck of salt, but I think this one was legit.

    My opinion then and now remains the same, this is all about “Look, but don’t touch.”


    Re: “…it would be like a little party in my pants.”

    I don’t know how you resisted offering her a REAL party in her pants. ;).

    (… goes back to her vanilla party …)

  110. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ginjoint (#105)

    Re: Fabergé

    Dr. E was referencing the jeweled Fabergé eggs, not the cheap cologne. Not cheap at all, and no hussies involved with the eggs.

    Alas, the fabulous Fabergé egg collection owned by Malcolm Forbes was sold a few years ago to a Russian, who repatriated the eggs.

    Forbes used to have them on display at the Forbes building on Fifth Ave. I’ve seen them up close, and they are amazing objets d’art.

  111. Kat says:

    “Because it would be like a little party in my pants.”
    wow, indeed.

    Hairball, I’ve seen reports of this happening, too, so I was engaging in a wee bit of hyperbole.

    “I’m not convinced that any actual humans have engaged in this” was more a way of saying “This was undoubtedly invented by someone with a set of wildly unrealistic view of what is “sexy” and “glamoourous” and “fun,” and I can’t imagine what would tempt someone to do it.”

    Ksbel, do you live in NY? Because any report I’ve heard or seen on vajazzling has been from a salon in NY, and I’m wondering if it’s a one-off thing, or if it’s something that really truly exists all over the place.

  112. Kat says:

    It would be a little party that would end up hurting like hell, I’d imagine, when the friction from your pants starts ripping the glue off, and you’ve got the double discomfort of the pain of something getting pulled off your skin band-aid style, then little crystals coming loose in your underwear and causing trouble.


  113. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kat (#111,112)

    Ksbel6 lives in the heartland, so if vajazzling is becoming the rage in mid-America, it must already be passé (awright, smack me, my NY regional chauvinism is showing).

    Those crystals loosened via friction no doubt make for an interesting breadcrumb trail to track the original owner… Not of interest to me, of course. I’m with ksbel6, it’s a turn-off.

    (… goes back to quoting JRRT… “Not all that is gold glitters” …)

  114. ksbel6 says:

    Hoh is correct, this particular friend was headed to St. Louis. As for me offering on the party in the pants, most of you know I’m in a very happy, very healthy, six year relationship that is a wonderful party in the sheets, not just the pants:) No special jewels needed.

  115. Kat says:

    Hm, is it too judgmental if I say that your relationship is probably not in good shape if you need to glue sparkly stuff to your crotch to keep your partner interested?

  116. Ginjoint says:

    I’ve sold Faberge eggs as part of my job, HoH, and that’s what I was referencing as well. Diff’rent strokes, and all….